‘Where I Eat’ is a series of stories profiling where Orange’s best chefs like to dine out in the city. This is the third one ...
Chefs have a reputation for occasionally being a little temperamental, so when Sam Jeon’s kitchen crew start to feel the heat, he arranges dinner at his favourite Orange restaurant, Lolli Redini.
The owner of Sushi King and Mr Lim Korean and Chinese Diner treats his team to dinner every few months, to give them a taste of what the 2019 Chef Hat-awarded restaurant does well.
“There’s so much for them to learn down there,” Mr Jeon said.
“Not just the way they make food and the flavours. It’s the presentation – it’s so much inspiration for them [his staff].”
After his move to Orange 10 years ago, Mr Jeon spent two years working at Philip Shaw Wines and describes himself as a “wine wanker”.
At Lolli, he takes it upon himself to order drinks for the table.
“We always sell local wine so we try to order white wine from outside of the region. I try to choose Tasmanian or somewhere with a similar climate to Orange,” he said.
When it comes to food, the Korean chef said he always orders Lolli’s risotto – a dish that changes with the seasons.
He said quality ingredients is the number one component to turning him into a repeat customer at any restaurant, whether it be high-end or budget, in his country of birth or in Orange.
“We’re known for wine and food but at some of the restaurants here it’s hard to get quality food and fresh produce,” he said.
“Restaurants using frozen beans from Woolies? That makes me feel disgusting.”
Mr Jeon said his staff are taken aback by Lolli’s sophistication.
“In our culture the presentation is not hugely important. In Asia we try to make it like a diner. Whatever you’re wearing, you feel comfortable,” he said.
“Lolli is not a diner and it’s the presentation they [his staff] think is amazing.”
In the seven years since Sushi King opened and the three years since opening Mr Lims, the YouTube- taught chef has established himself as an important contributor to Orange’s food landscape.
If Saturday night at the Peisley Street end of Summer Street is anything to go by, the successful chef looks unlikely to slow down any time soon.
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